• 2 days PDVSA Booted From Caribbean Terminal Over Unpaid Bills
  • 2 days Russia Warns Ukraine Against Recovering Oil Off The Coast Of Crimea
  • 2 days Syrian Rebels Relinquish Control Of Major Gas Field
  • 2 days Schlumberger Warns Of Moderating Investment In North America
  • 3 days Oil Prices Set For Weekly Loss As Profit Taking Trumps Mideast Tensions
  • 3 days Energy Regulators Look To Guard Grid From Cyberattacks
  • 3 days Mexico Says OPEC Has Not Approached It For Deal Extension
  • 3 days New Video Game Targets Oil Infrastructure
  • 3 days Shell Restarts Bonny Light Exports
  • 3 days Russia’s Rosneft To Take Majority In Kurdish Oil Pipeline
  • 3 days Iraq Struggles To Replace Damaged Kirkuk Equipment As Output Falls
  • 3 days British Utility Companies Brace For Major Reforms
  • 3 days Montenegro A ‘Sweet Spot’ Of Untapped Oil, Gas In The Adriatic
  • 4 days Rosneft CEO: Rising U.S. Shale A Downside Risk To Oil Prices
  • 4 days Brazil Could Invite More Bids For Unsold Pre-Salt Oil Blocks
  • 4 days OPEC/Non-OPEC Seek Consensus On Deal Before Nov Summit
  • 4 days London Stock Exchange Boss Defends Push To Win Aramco IPO
  • 4 days Rosneft Signs $400M Deal With Kurdistan
  • 4 days Kinder Morgan Warns About Trans Mountain Delays
  • 4 days India, China, U.S., Complain Of Venezuelan Crude Oil Quality Issues
  • 4 days Kurdish Kirkuk-Ceyhan Crude Oil Flows Plunge To 225,000 Bpd
  • 4 days Russia, Saudis Team Up To Boost Fracking Tech
  • 5 days Conflicting News Spurs Doubt On Aramco IPO
  • 5 days Exxon Starts Production At New Refinery In Texas
  • 5 days Iraq Asks BP To Redevelop Kirkuk Oil Fields
  • 6 days Oil Prices Rise After U.S. API Reports Strong Crude Inventory Draw
  • 6 days Oil Gains Spur Growth In Canada’s Oil Cities
  • 6 days China To Take 5% Of Rosneft’s Output In New Deal
  • 6 days UAE Oil Giant Seeks Partnership For Possible IPO
  • 6 days Planting Trees Could Cut Emissions As Much As Quitting Oil
  • 6 days VW Fails To Secure Critical Commodity For EVs
  • 6 days Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Finally Approved
  • 6 days Iraqi Forces Seize Control Of North Oil Co Fields In Kirkuk
  • 6 days OPEC Oil Deal Compliance Falls To 86%
  • 6 days U.S. Oil Production To Increase in November As Rig Count Falls
  • 7 days Gazprom Neft Unhappy With OPEC-Russia Production Cut Deal
  • 7 days Disputed Venezuelan Vote Could Lead To More Sanctions, Clashes
  • 7 days EU Urges U.S. Congress To Protect Iran Nuclear Deal
  • 7 days Oil Rig Explosion In Louisiana Leaves 7 Injured, 1 Still Missing
  • 7 days Aramco Says No Plans To Shelve IPO
Alt Text

Kurdistan Accuses Baghdad Of Planning Oil Field Seizure

Kurdistan authorities have accused the…

Alt Text

Trump Just Made Iran A Wildcard

The impact of Trump’s decision…

As US Abandons Syria to its Fate, One Man Rises Above

As US Abandons Syria to its Fate, One Man Rises Above

The US has largely abdicated the throne in Syria in terms of supplying the rebels with funds and leadership. This is because Washington cannot see the end game clearly. For that, it needs a figure-head, a rebel leader with the potential to carry things through to an end that is in Washington’s interest.

There is, however, a figure rising up out of the dust and shrapnel in Syria that deserves our attention. Right now, he is the only figure that appears capable of shaping an end to the regime of Bashar al-Assad and ensuring a new Syrian government that is not overrun by Sunni fundamentalists.

The force of this figure—Colonel Abdel-Jabber Akidi,  commander of rebel forces in the Aleppo region and arguably now the senior commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)—combined with the intelligence and policy expertise provided by the Syrian Support Group (SSG) based in Washington, DC could provide us with more certainty (and stability) in terms of an end game.

What Colonel Akidi wants is significant, but what he is offering is more so, according to Jellyfish Operations, a DC-based private intelligence firm working in Syria.

What he wants is modern anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, as well as a crash training course, which are necessary if the rebels are to defeat Assad and halt the violence.

Related Article: Oil, Guns, Spies and Islamism

What he’s promising in return is to keep these weapons out of the hands of the extremists who have infiltrated the ranks of the rebels, and this is the most important point and the main issue behind Washington’s reluctance to do more to help the rebels.

Colonel Akidi’s message is this, and it is a powerful one: If the US does not step in to fill the vacuum with funds and weapons to support the rebels against Assad, the Saudis and Qataris and other Gulf contributors will ensure that Sunni extremist groups gain increasing power and sideline the genuine rebels entirely.

The US cannot afford for this to happen.

According to Michael Bagley, President of Jellyfish, there are three keys to an acceptable end game in Syria: First, support for Colonel Akidi on the ground, as the top leader of the FSA; second, the recognition of the Syrian Support Group as the key to effective policy leadership; third, the creation of an Independent Policy Entity (IPE) established by the SSG.

“The Syrian Support Group has proven itself to be one of the most reliable networks of experts providing information and intelligence to the USG and its allies,” Bagley told Oilprice.com. “And while the US has abdicated its role of supplier of funds and leadership, it should be leading the way with more resources for the SSG and Colonel Akidi on the ground.”

What troubles Bagley is this: “A distribution of material is being manipulated and circumvented by those not aligned with pro-democratic elements.”

As such, he says, the time is urgent for the SSG “to establish an Independent Political Entity to begin to take over a leadership position in Syria.”

Here’s how it would work, according to Bagley. Once the SSG establishes an Independent Political Entity, the main FSA commanders on the ground in Syria would endorse it and in likelihood nominate Colonel Akidi as its head. The new entity would be comprised of civilian and military leaders and would declare itself to various governments to be the “mechanism through which all interaction with the FSA will be coordinated”.

Importantly, says Bagley, the new entity would be inclusive, comprised of Sunni, Shi’ite, Allawi, Christian, Turkomen, Kurd and Armenian representatives, all coordinated by the SSG.

“This will unify and empower the rebels, and give them a clear support theater for their operations,” he said. “It will also allow for better coordination and equipping of operations and better prioritization across different theaters, from Aleppo and Damascus, to Homs. It will also establish the new IPE commanders as the only legitimate figures for establishing security throughout the regions.

Related Article: Putin Plays Down Russia's Deadly Dependence on Oil & Gas Revenues

One particular mission that requires this level of coordination is the freeing of some 10,000 political prisoners currently being held by Assad at the Air Force Intel Center near Aleppo, according to intelligence reports given to Jellyfish.  

Significantly, adds Bagley, the creation of a new entity run by the SSG and Akidi would open up a clear path for the flow and distribution of humanitarian aid to those who need it.

Jellyfish envisions this Independent Political Entity declaring free and democratic elections within one year after the fall of the Assad regime.

“The US could not afford to be left out of this end game once a credible IPE is established and a clear path for democracy becomes visible,” Bagley said.

While the administration in Washington has been hoping to ride out the US presidential elections before making any decision on Syria, time is running out. But there are signs of action:

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton publicly withdrew support for the Syrian National Council (SNC)—a group of Syrian expatriates who saw themselves as the leaders of the Syrian opposition.

Clinton said, “There has to be a representation of those who are on the front lines fighting and dying today.” 

This withdrawal of support for the SNC—which reflects Washington’s fears that the body cannot control the infiltration of the rebels by extremist forces—could pave the way for the Syrian Support Group, along with its intelligence and military forces on the ground in Syria, to emerge as the real leader of the Syrian uprising.

US officials are already in quiet negotiations and are hoping to bring together some 50 opposition representatives for a meeting that would choose an executive council, which in turn Washington hopes would receive the blessing of the Arab League at a meeting later this month in Cairo. This should be where the Syrian Support Group’s intelligence, policy and coordination efforts are realized—and where Colonel Akidi is given the power to make good on his promises.

The alternative is more unnecessary bloodshed at the hands of the Assad regime, and a potential victory for fundamentalist forces that have anything but Washington’s interests in mind. They would also have access to a major cache of chemical weapons).

By. Jen Alic of Oilprice.com




Back to homepage


Leave a comment
  • Philip on November 03 2012 said:
    This is unrealistic. Akidi is bound to make promises he can't keep just to get ahead of the game. Syria is presently so porous that there is no security of weapons supply and distribution. Cannot be. his promises are not even hot air.

    The US is wise to get out while it can. Let the Saudis and Iranians fight it out with assistance over the still living, breathing and definitely not yet defeated Assad regime. The US knows that any weapons sent to Syria will more likely than not end up in the hands of Jihadists.

    Israel already has enough problems dealing with fallout from Libyan jihadists entering Gaza. If Jihadists are eqipped and win in Syria the result could be catasdtrophic for Israel and the West.

    It wouldn't surprise me if Western powers and agencies are secretly playing both ends against the middle and playing for time. Debka reports that the rebels simply don't have the numbers to defeat Assad. Nor do they have the CCC (command, control and coordination/communication) to be more than disparate groups of Jihadis resisting. Its a mess and no mistake.

    Iran has sent its own militia in to train more Assad militia and al Qods are also in Syria. Even if Assad fell Iran would be more than capable of stoking the unrest for years.

    There is quite simply no way out in the foreseeable future, no easy solutions that the West seems so fond of dreaming up.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News